MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
Keep your old servos
Servo motors are reliable workhorses that will typically operate virtually maintenance free on most applications for 10 to 15 years before they will eventually need to be replaced. In fact, it isn’t uncommon at all for quality servos to last longer, and some operators are still running motors that are over 15 years old with no performance or maintenance issues at all.
Automating the plastics industry
One of the biggest challenges for robotics manufacturers is the perception that the technology is here to take the jobs of humans – but that is simply not the case. Unfortunately, the notion that automation poses a threat to jobs often overshadows the potential benefits of investing in the technology. Here, TM Robotics founder and CEO, Nigel Smith, explains how robot technology is affecting the plastics and injection moulding market.
Getting a grip on awkward products with vacuum lifting
When it comes to gripping and handling irregularly shaped or loosely wrapped products, vacuum lifting is often the only viable solution. But some vacuum lifting systems are decidedly more versatile than others, as Dale Simmonds, Managing Director of Simmatic, explains.
Arriving now… the factories of the future
Factories populated by autonomous vehicles delivering parts and sub-assemblies across the shop floor, robots working alongside human operators to assemble customised products – all scheduled automatically by live orders placed online. While this is a utopian vision of manufacturing for many and there are certain industry sectors where the journey to smart manufacturing is a long one, there are factories that operate like this right now. So what should we expect from the automation companies and system integrators helping to make it happen? Barry Weller, Product Manager at Mitsubishi Electric provides his view.
How voice recognition will change industry
Since its release, Amazon has sold over 20 million Echo devices with Alexa – the voice-activated assistant. It has changed the way we complete many daily tasks, from shopping, to getting weather updates. Could it do the same for manufacturing? Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete parts supplier, EU Automation, explains how voice recognition technology can improve manufacturing processes.
How much stock should your bearing supplier hold?
One of the most important asset of any bearings business is stock because it provides the ability to react quickly to customer needs. But customers also stand to benefit in other ways when their bearing supplier holds high levels of stock, as Craig Clydesdale of Bowman International explains.
Comparing flowmeters: Coriolis vs. Surface Acoustic Wave
Flow measurement of liquids is an essential requirement for the control of many manufacturing processes, because accurate control improves efficiency and guarantees quality. Whilst there are a number of different technologies available, when high accuracy is the requirement the Coriolis flowmeter has so far been the default choice. However, the development of Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology for use in flowmeters has presented a challenger in the market with potentially a host of additional benefits. Ian Webster, Field Segment Manager .hygienic - Pharmaceutical for Bürkert Fluid Control Systems UK and Ireland, looks at how these two top-spec alternatives match up.
Artificial intelligence for product research and development
What do the microwave, penicillin and Velcro have in common? All three were founded on an accidental discovery. With the rate of technological change faster than ever, companies can’t leave their research and development (R&D) to chance. Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete industrial parts supplier EU Automation, explains how artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a role in product development.